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Kevin McCarthy
  House Minority Leader Mc Carthy News Conference  CSPAN  January 9, 2020 1:16pm-1:30pm EST

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trial. live, unfiltered coverage on c-span, on demand at and listen on the free c-span radio app. president trump holds a keep america great campaign rally in toledo, ohio. watch live this evening at 7:00 eastern on c-span2, online at or listen live with the c-span radio app. house minority leader kevin mccarthy talks to reporters about the house war powers resolution and the articles of impeachment yet to be sent to the senate. >> good morning, chet. good morning, everybody else.
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he just corrects me every time. all right. we're on our first week back in session of a new year and the majority in this house is really only focused on two things. first, stalling of their self described urgent impeachment, and secondly, blaming america for iran's escalation. now, let's first talk about the impeachment. we sit and read and listen to lawmakers in speaker pelosi's own party have no idea what she's doing. senator feinstein, the senator from california, my senator and speaker pelosi's senator but she's even more, she's the hometown senator for nancy pelosi. she said, the longer it goes on, the less urgent it becomes. so if it's serious and urgent, send them over. if it is not, don't send it over. chairman adam smith, speaker pelosi's own chairman on armed services, at 9:35 this morning, he said it is time for speaker
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pelosi to send the articles of impeachment to the senate. i understand what the speaker is trying to do but at the end of the day, just like we control it in the house, mitch mcconnell controls it in the senate. or congressman jamie raskin, a member of the house judiciary but also the member who was selected to represent impeachment inside the rules committee. he said, there can't be an indefinite delay. obviously there's a constitutional and political clock ticking at this point. we are eager to see that things move forward. but i just listened to speaker pelosi say she wasn't moving them yet. i'm not sure if she
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to the capitol. this is a meaningless vote that only sends the wrong message that the house democrats would rather stand with the socialist base than stand against iran. i listened to speaker pelosi and a question that chad asked her about the concurrent resolution. and i want to clear up, because i believe most of that was fake news. contrary to what the speaker said, the resolution before the house is nonbinding. it does not have the force of law. the supreme court found that in the chanda case, concurrent resolutions are unconstitutional as a means to limit the executive branch. for someone that i hear and
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claim so deeply about the constitution, i think our speaker needs to brush up actually on her facts. let's open it up for questions. yes, sir. >> reporter: mr. leader, the speaker continued to say today that she needs to see more from senator mcconnell on what the trial will look like before she sends the articles. why is that an unreasonable request? why shouldn't leader mcconnell just come out and share what the rules of this proceeding are before she sends the articles? >> did she say that with a straight face? you sat through this impeachment. you watched the speaker of the house deny any rules going forward in the house. you watched the speaker of the house change every history we have when it comes to impeachment. we had a history about how we dealt with clinton and how we dealt with nixon, in a fair process. she changed all that so it could not become fair. she took it out of judiciary and put it into the intel committee where they couldn't focus on
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other things that are going on around the world, only focus on impeachment. she denied her own members the ability to ask questions and only for the first 45 minutes that the chair and someone not even elected to congress had the power to ask questions. she denied the minority to be able to have witnesses. she denied the accused, the president, to even have legal counsel. and she has the gall to say she wants to determine what happens in the senate? maybe she's more concerned that her case is so weak. i listened to mitch mcconnell who you know what, stays with the fair process that president clinton had. he said he would move forward with that. the speaker does not have the power to continue to hold. this is something that is passed in the house and has constitutionally has to move to the senate. she told us it was urgent, why we had to move so quickly. and now she thinks she has the
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power of the senate? again, i wish she would read the constitution and understand what power she has and what she does not have. >> reporter: do you support the republican senators who are pushing to start the trial without the articles? >> you know what, i support the democratic senator dianne feinstein who said the longer it goes on, the less urgent it becomes. so if it is serious and urgent, send them over. if it is not, don't send it over. so the answer to senator feinstein, the speaker is saying, i guess it's not too important. why did you waste an entire majority on trying to impeach a president and then hold the papers? what about her own committee chairmen, adam smith, who said it is time, the only person who does not believe it's time is the speaker. and i do not know why. maybe the case is too weak. >> reporter: on -- >> congratulations. >> reporter: i appreciate it. the senators, mike lee and rand
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paul, came out yesterday saying that they were urged not to have a debate on war powers. they say it's not american and are siding with democrats in their war powers resolution. do you think it's a debate worth having around war powers? why would you say this debate wouldn't be worth having? >> well, first of all they're lying to the american public by concurrent resolution. it has no power. it has no power whatsoever. it's equivalent to when we invite the soapbox derby to capitol hill. so the speaker just stood before you and either does not know the meaning of the constitution or she lied to you. i'm not sure which one it is. the idea that they want to curb the ability of the president to react when more than 600 americans have been killed, when our embassy has been attacked,
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when an american was killed and that was a red line, when did you ever -- [ inaudible question ] no, we can gladly debate it. i would love to debate it. but the idea of the timing and what does it say to the rest of the world. i never thought there would be a moment in time that the speaker of the house of representatives would actually be defending soleimani. the idea of this individual, in this moment in time, that they would be defending iran, that somehow they did not escalate this, when a president stood before the world and the country yesterday about de-escalating. what do you say to all the gold star families? did you listen to what the speaker just said? soleimani was a bad person, but. there is no "but." he's a bad person because he killed american soldiers. he's a bad person because he
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lady the attack on the embassy. he's a bad person because he bombed the refinery. he's a bad person because he was planning more against americans. the president was right in his actions and we are safer today for it. i think that part of what the democrats are doing today is wrong. and the current information that i just heard coming out about the airliner, not supplying the black box, i think the democrats should pause and have the information, if what is being said is true right now of why that airliner went down. why would you defend iran and not protect americans? >> reporter: is there a risk for republicans in the senate, regardless what have rules they operate under in the senate trial, taking care of it politically, being perceived as moving too expeditiously, that's a danger for republicans because it looks like republicans writ large are going overboard to defend the president? >> not at all. that we're moving too quickly?
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>> reporter: i'm saying, [ inaudible ] 1999, if that's the model that mitch mcconnell -- >> there's no time set when you went and did clinton. the senate has the right to look at fact. this is different because this is, according to jonathan turley, a constitutional lawyer, which is probably the one most respected in this country, who is a democrat, who did not vote for the president, he said it was the fastest, thinnest impeachment in the history of america. he said the only abuse of power would be actually moving forward, on the democrats to move forward with this impeachment. so i'm sorry if this is so weak. and when i listen to the speaker say she's really concerned about bipartisanship, yeah, she said that last year in march, why impeachment could not move forward. but when impeachment moved forward, the only bipartisan vote was no. so her own rules of how to move
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forward, she broke them. she broke the history of how we did it in the house when it came to fairness. and now she wants to impose something upon the senate that she would not use herself. i can't imagine how she does that with a straight face. i couldn't imagine you not questioning her on it as well. >> reporter: this past week an attorney for lev parnas tweeted out two pictures with you and his client, one of them had you and his client and vice president pence. in response to those tweets by lev parnas' attorney, i was hoping you can clarify what your relationship with to mr. parnas and what you've done with the money that he donated to you. >> thank you for that really imposing question. i guess i met him one time when he came to an event and took a picture with me. >> reporter: what was the event? >> i'm not sure, i have to look at the picture to see. i do events every single day, i
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take pictures with thousands of people. the money we donated to charity. >> reporter: you said that the speaker was defending soleimani. do you really believe she is defending one of the leaders of iran, an enemy of the united states, rather than conveying concern about the killing of him and the ramifications that could have on u.s. interests? >> i sit in gang of eight meetings, in the classified meeting. it was justified and everybody who sat in there knows it. any time i hear a democrat talk about him and say he was bad but then use the word "but," yes, i question that. there is no "but" when it comes to soleimani. he was bad because, not but. he was bad because he killed more than 600 american soldiers. he was bad because of the attacks on the american citizens he killed. he was bad because he went after our embassy. he was bad because he was planning to kill more americans.
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so no, i never use the word "but" when i refer to him and i don't think any other american should either and if they do, i'll question them on it as well. thank you very much. the impeachment of president trump. continue to follow the process on c-span leading to a senate trial. live, unfiltered coverage on c-span. on demand at and listen on the free c-span radio app. today president trump announced new proposed rules to speed up the federal permitting process for major infrastructure